Los Angeles Mayor and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board Chair Eric Garcetti announced that Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington is stepping down later this year.
Washington recently informed the Metro Board that he does not plan to seek a new contract or extend his current contract, which expires in May of this year.
“It has been my distinct pleasure and absolute honor to serve and lead Metro’s nearly 11,000 employees for the last six years,” said Washington. “I leave with great satisfaction knowing that working together we have improved mobility and increased access to opportunity for all residents of L.A. County, and weathered the most devastating health crisis of the past century. We have quickened the sense and pace of public service and left L.A. County’s mobility space better than it was.”
As Metro’s CEO, Washington manages a balanced annual budget of $7 billion, is responsible for overseeing $18 billion to $20 billion in capital construction projects, and provides oversight of the nation’s third busiest transit agency that transports 1.2 million passengers (pre-COVID) daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean-air buses and six rail lines. Washington is also engaged in all facets of transportation and infrastructure in L.A. County including aviation, goods movement, freight/railroads, water, public works, housing, and transit-oriented communities.
Washington, who has been with Metro since May 2015, spearheaded several notable successes including the passage of Measure M, the largest transportation investment ballot measure in North America. L.A. County voters overwhelmingly approved Measure M by more than 71%, launching the nation’s largest public works program that will create an estimated 700,000 jobs in the region.
He was also instrumental in securing $9 billion in grant funding over the past five years by working with Metro’s federal and state partners and building their trust in Metro’s leadership and undeniable track record of success.
Workforce development and advancing equity have been the hallmarks of Washington’s tenure at Metro. Under his leadership, Metro aggressively created real opportunities for small, women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned businesses, including the first Prime contract for a minority business.
Washington also elevated and encouraged Metro’s greatest asset, its workforce (present and future), by advancing and institutionalizing real and effective employee professional development programs, including the SEED Transportation School of Los Angeles County, Workforce Initiative Now, the Metro Leadership Academy, the ENO Multi-Agency Exchange Program, and the creation of the Women and Girls Governing Council, which released a groundbreaking study that is changing the way the transportation industry addresses and responds to the needs of how women and girls travel.
Under Washington’s leadership, innovation flourished at Metro. He placed emphasis on not just talking about innovation but implementing it in concrete ways that help real people improve their lives. The Office of Extraordinary Innovation, Metro Micro, Mobility on Demand, the NextGen Bus Study, Metro’s TAP apps for Apple and Android phones, a partnership with the Transit app, and the very real possibility of a Fareless Transit System in L.A. County are a few examples.